If you have a condition such as polycythemia or porphyria cutanea tarda and are required to have blood drawn as a form of treatment, you may come to any Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center facility for the procedure.
Therapeutic patients may only be drawn on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s therapeutic request form must be completed by your doctor and faxed to (713) 790-1782 at least 72 hours prior to the first collection to allow time for review, Medical Director approval and data entry. Incomplete or illegible orders will not be accepted.
There is a $150 fee per therapeutic phlebotomy for all patients other than those with a diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis or secondary polycythemia due to testosterone replacement therapy, since these units may be used in some cases for transfusion to patients. Payment will be accepted onsite using a major credit card at the Neighborhood Donor Center after screening, prior to phlebotomy. A receipt and form that may be used for insurance reimbursement will be provided.
Hemochromatosis and Testosterone Replacement Therapy Donors
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has been granted variances from the Food and Drug Administration that allow us to draw blood for transfusion purposes from individuals diagnosed with hereditary hemochromatosis and men taking hormone replacement therapy (testosterone). Previously, blood collected from these patients was drawn only as therapeutic phlebotomy and was destroyed.
Now, blood collected from individuals who have hereditary hemochromatosis or who are taking testosterone replacement therapy and meet all suitability requirements for allogeneic blood donations will be labeled as suitable for transfusion. The minimum hematocrit allowed for transfusion purposes is 38 percent for females and 39 percent for males. Blood donations from donors who do not meet the current suitability requirements will be labeled as therapeutic phlebotomies and discarded. Hereditary hemochromatosis donors and donors taking testosterone will be allowed to donate blood more often than every eight weeks, and their blood will be used for transfusion if suitable. All donations from these individuals qualify to earn rewards points.
There is no fee for phlebotomies performed on these individuals, regardless of whether they meet allogeneic donors' requirements. We will continue to require a therapeutic phlebotomy request form to be completed by your doctor and kept on file with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Download the Therapeutic Phlebotomy Request, ask your doctor to complete the form, and fax it to (713) 790-1782.